September 12th (screenshot) by Newsgaming
September 12th by Newsgaming

Another collective with a similar goal but a slightly different approach is Newsgaming.. Based in Montevideo, Uruguay and Copenhagen, Denmark, the Newsgaming collective creates digital interactive simulations based on events in the news. Newsgaming currently features two such simulations on its site– Madrid and September 12th. Madrid was launched on March 13, 2004, three days after the terror attacks in Madrid. According to the group, "The goal of this videogame is to [pay] homage [to] the victims of the Madrid terror attacks, as well as all the other cities that have experienced these hideous crimes." Presented with a crowd of peaceful protesters holding a candle vigil, the user is simply instructed to click on the candles in order to make them shine brighter. Eventually the candles go dim and a message kindly urges the player to "keep trying." The t-shirts worn by the crowd illuminate the global reach of terror, bringing to the foreground cities such as Beirut, Baghdad, Beirut, Buenos Aires, New York, Oklahoma and Paris–all of which were affected by recent acts of terror.

Madrid by Newsgaming

While Spaniards post–March 11, 2004 chose to be critical of their own actions, post–September 11th America chose to direct its anger at other countries–first at Afghanistan and then, starting in March 2003, at Iraq. September 12th presents the player with a simple virtual environment dubbed "toy world" in which the users have a bird's–eye view of what seems to be an Arab town filled with inhabitants who go about their business. Among the civilian population is a handful of armed terrorists. The instructions to the simulations are simple:

This is a simulation.
It has no ending. It has already begun.
The rules are deadly simple.
You can shoot. Or not.
This is a simple model you can use to explore some aspects of the war on terror.

Newsgaming's September 12th. Sketch

September 12th was launched on September 29, 2003-six months and nine days after the United States began its war against Iraq. Being presented with those two games on Newsgaming's site, visitors are urged to draw their own conclusions on those strikingly different national policies and their consequences.

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